Short Cuts

Where to find the news the mainstream media doesn't see fit to print

Shock, Awe, and Mini DVs Dept.: With all the outright chaos out there these days it can be difficult to keep focused on film both in and out of Austin -- as we write this it's the day of the Academy Awards, and although the preshow has yet to begin, advance word is that we can expect a relatively tame and toned-down event with respect to the firestorms erupting in Iraq and elsewhere. (Whether that means Far From Heaven director Todd Haynes will opt for a black tux over his more casual IFP Spirit Awards outfit or not is up for grabs.) Here in Austin the majority of visible home-front action, from both hawks and doves, has been happening either on Guadalupe near UT, where an estimated 1,500 students massed at the 24th Street and Guadalupe intersection, or the Congress Avenue bridge this past Friday. Thanks to the growing popularity of mini DV cameras and the ubiquitous anti-war Web sites, both of these actions are available to homebodies via the Net -- indeed this is the first time a major American conflict (or war, or empire expansion initiative) has been so readily available for download to your home computer. The previous Gulf War at the beginning of the past decade coincided with the birth of the World Wide Web. Back then streaming real-time images and online guerrilla filmmaking and reportage were barely a gleam in activists' eyes. Right here, right now, an entirely new strata of visual communication and newsgathering is being birthed amid the fog of battle and, alternately, the peace movement. Which brings me to the best regional Web site going, in terms of covering the conflicts both here in Austin and elsewere, Indymedia's Austin site, which, as part of the much larger and far-reaching Independent Media Center family of Web sites, continues to disseminate unofficially sanctioned and vetted news on everything from war resisters to questionable APD tactics used at last week's Congress Avenue bridge demos to streaming media and QuickTime video footage of the thousands of marchers who've been making downtown Austin their own personal CentCom recently. Kudos are in order, of course, but more importantly the site serves as a cutting-edge riposte to the timely and depressing adage about the truth being the first casualty of any war. Take it from us, the truth is alive and well at Austin IMC online. (And while it's not an Austin-specific site, we'd be remiss not to mention the darkly humorous Get Your War On site,, because, of course, a sense of humor, coal-black though it might be, is right alongside truth in terms of early wartime casualties.) Check out both if, like us, you feel overwhelmed by recent events... There's more than war out there, even if it doesn't seem like it lately. Two local filmmakers, Jim Stedman and Terry Rietta (an Austin native currently out in Los Angeles) have been announced as semifinalists in the Chrysler Million Dollar Film Festival. Both filmmakers will be in New York City beginning in May to participate in the "Extreme Filmmaking" phase of the competition, which involves creating a five-minute "Chrysler-branded" short film in 10 days. Clips of their semifinalist films are available online at Congrats and good luck to both. Peace.

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More Short Cuts
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The Conrans will 'Captain' 'Princess of Mars'; plus, Linklater headed for 'Bad News'

Marc Savlov, Sept. 17, 2004

Short Cuts
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Invest in the fests!

Marc Savlov, Sept. 3, 2004


Independent Media, Indymedia, Get Your War On, Jim Stedman, Terry Rietta, Chrysler Million Dollar Film Festival

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